Before I go further let’s define what “marketing” actually is. I prefer Seth Godin’s definition: “Everything beyond spec is marketing … Because the extra is there to help change minds, to spread the word, to earn trust and loyalty.”
In other words, anything that goes above and beyond the bare minimum is a marketing effort. Let’s not forget that you need to earn trust and loyalty not only of your customers but also your employees.
Thinking about things this way can make us think twice about what really matters. Going the extra mile can actually be the most essential thing you do because all of the sudden you’re building trust and loyalty.
For example, when you go into a restaurant and it’s pristinely clean (which costs more) that extra cost shouldn’t be considered a ‘cleaning’ expense. It’s a marketing effort.
Sometimes the bare minimum can get the job done, but if it’s in an area where increasing your brand equity is important it’s a short term strategy.